Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta

Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta
Got Panettone? If you have Italian friends, then I bet your answer is a resounding yes because some of those friends must have given you some panettone as a Christmas gift. As good as it is right out of its pretty box, or toasted with a bit of butter at breakfast time, at my house there are always entire loaves that remain unopened once Christmas is over.

Rustichella Panettone

Panettone is delightful in desserts such as Bread Pudding and brunch fare like French Toast. On the savory side, the candied orange peel and raisin flavors of this classic sweet yeast bread make a wonderfully satisfying panino when paired with juicy ham and a tasty cheese, but have you ever tried a Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta? Each bite is a sweet mouthful of liqueur-soaked panettone with fruit and nut-studded ricotta cream. It’s English Trifle done with Italian style.

Faretti Biscotti Famosi

This dessert affords the perfect opportunity to introduce you, Dear Reader, to Biscotti Famosi, an amber elixir made by Faretti in Northern Italy. The liqueur starts with a vodka base and the first flavors are of toasted almonds, caramel, orange, and lemon zest followed by a surprisingly long finish tasting of pure fennel. It is a real delight, one that I call “biscotti in a bottle.” With a rich, almost creamy mouthfeel, this exquisite liqueur could be dessert all on its own, but with the cubed panettone and “cannoli cream” it lifts “leftovers” to the realm of the sublime.

It’s hard to know which is the star of this dessert – the panettone or the Biscotti Famosi liqueur. This elegantly balanced liqueur is the perfect complement to the classic panettone flavor profile. Serve a glass of Biscotti Famosi with the coppette.

The truth is all that leftover panettone will not last until next Christmas. Make this one soon.

Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta

Coppette alla Crema di Ricotta

serves 4

If you have no Biscotti Famosi, the Italian liqueur palette has much to offer in the way of substitutions. Amaretto, with its almond notes, and Frangelico, redolent of hazelnuts, are two of Italy’s most familiar sweet spirits, and either would be wonderful here. If pistachios are your pleasure, try Dumante Verdenoce, a pistachio liqueur. Make this one your own, and exchange the nuts to match the liqueur you select.

14 ounces fresh ricotta
3-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
¼ cup chopped hazelnuts, divided
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon diced candied orange peel
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon chocolate mini morsels
¼ cup Faretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur
1 ¾ cups panettone, cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the rack to the center level. Place the hazelnuts on a small, rimmed baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until fragrant, stirring once or twice as they toast. Remove the nuts from the oven, and drop them onto a clean, lint-free towel. Allow them to cool for a few minutes. Gather the towel around the nuts and briskly rub the nuts together, removing as much of the skins as possible. Set the nuts aside to cool completely. Discard the skins. Coarsely chop the cooled nuts, and divide them in half. Set aside.

If the ricotta is very wet, place it in a sieve set over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to drain. Place the sugar in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal knife. Use a paring knife to split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Spread the bean open, and use the dull edge of the paring knife to scrape the seeds from the bean. Drop the seeds into the workbowl of the food processor. Discard the bean or place it in a container with sugar to flavor the sugar for future use. Process the sugar and vanilla seeds for 30 seconds, or until powder fine. Add the drained ricotta to the workbowl. Process until smooth.

Distribute the panettone cubes in the bottom 4 compote glasses. Drizzle the Biscotti Famosi liqueur over the panettone cubes to moisten them.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta and vanilla sugar mixture with 2 tablespoons of the toasted and chopped hazelnuts and ¼ cup each of the candied orange peel and chocolate mini morsels. Distribute the crema di ricotta over the moistened panettone. Top with the remaining toasted and chopped nuts, candied orange peel, and chocolate mini morsels. Serve.

Candied orange peel is available from Market Hall Foods.
Faretti Biscotti Famosi liqueur is available from Mission Wine & Spirits, BevMo!, and other purveyors of wine and spirits.

Note: You can click on any picture to see a slide show!

I have no affiliation with any product, manufacturer, or site mentioned in this article.


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  1. Comment by Carl Wright:

    Panettone bread is also available in Canada this time of year. It is very good, though I imagine the Italian version is better. Am not sure what is in it, if you keep it sealed, it will keep for weeks.
    After Christmas stores clear them out, and you can purchase them at a greatly reduced price. Thanks for sharing about the leftovers! 🙂

    • Comment by Adri:

      Benvenuto Carl,

      I love Panettone. It is studded with all sorts of goodies – candied citrus, sometimes nuts, figs, chocolate – you name it. It’s extraordinary keeping properties are due to the fact that it is made with a natural yeast. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy some Panettone this Christmas season!

      • Comment by Carl Wright:

        Now that makes sense Adri. I was not sure why the bread had such a long shelf life. Was hoping it was not chemicals! 🙂

        • Comment by Adri:

          Ciao Carl,

          The Panettone from the really fine companies – available at shops such as Olio2Go, Gustiamo, and Market Hall Foods, and other fine shops are made with natural yeast and are extraordinary products. The Panettone can run upwards of $30.00 but really, for a once a year treat, they are worth every penny. I’m sending warm holiday wishes to you and yours!

          • Comment by Carl Wright:

            AMAZING! No doubt they would be incredible. Italy is so well renowned for its’ bread. The Panettone I have bought in Canada comes from regular grocery stores, and they are about $6. After Christmas they are cleared out for $3 or less. Now I am wondering if the ingredients are similar! 🙂

          • Comment by Adri:

            Ciao Carl,

            Although the ingredients are similar – it’s just the whole technique of manufacture and the really superior quality of the specific ingredients that makes some of these breads so superior. Stores like Olio2Go, Market Hall Foods, and Gustiamo all sell really fine holiday breads. I do not know if they ship to Canada, but see if some of the “Italian stores” near you have any of these special brands, such as Rustichella D’Abruzzo, Flamigni, and Pasticceria Filippi. Buon appetito!

  2. Comment by Seafood Restaurant:


    Just Wow! Its looking so delicious. Thanks for sharing this useful tips with us.


  3. Comment by Eccoqui:

    Great post i would say. Loved to know a new way to make delicious Panettone. Would surely try this this weekend for my hubby.

  4. Comment by Jess @Sweetest Menu:

    I love panettone bread! It only comes out at the shops here around Christmas but I always try to use it in a dessert. This looks really lovely – wouldn’t last long in our house!

  5. Comment by NancyC:

    I have some panettone in the freezer I could use for this–sounds like a great dessert!

  6. Comment by Jenna:

    looks and sounds like heaven, I’m hoping I can find that liqueur, yum

  7. Comment by Lynne @ CookandBeMerry:

    My Norwegian mother used to make a sweet yeasted Christmas bread called Julekake that was filled with citron and raisins. Very similar. You really took me back to a bygone era. lol.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Lynne,

      I LOVE Julekage. I hope you will share her recipe with us all next Christmas? I would love to see “Christm,as 2015 – A Bloggers Round-Up of Christmas Breads from Around the World.”

  8. Comment by Karen (Back Road Journal):

    As much as I love and look forward to Christmas, I now have another reason. Your coppette sounds delicious…I’ll buy a panettone just for this dessert.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Karen,

      This one really is good – and you could certainly use en Easter Colomba to make it. I hope the new year is bringing good things to you and yours.

  9. Comment by Dedy@Dentist Chef:

    Simply damn delicious dessert!!!

  10. Comment by Trisha Thomas:

    Gosh, how did I miss this post– looks heavenly! And with all the panettone I had leftover after Christmas, I really could have tried it. My mouth is watering looking at your lovely pictures too.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Trisha,

      Despair not. This would be great with Colomba di Pasqua, so all is right with the world. I hope things are good in Rome, and I am loving the book you recommended, John Hooper’s “The Italians.” Un bacione a te!

  11. Comment by Francesca:

    I think my comment wasn’t published. This looks really delicious!

  12. Comment by Francesca:

    Absolutely delicious! We have plenty of ricotta here in Sicily:)

  13. Comment by Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti:

    Biscotti liqueur sounds so deliciously decadent, Adri! I will have to look for this! This combination makes a fabulous dessert. Happy New Year!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pat,

      Oh, you will love this liqueur. It really is like biscotti in a bottle. I hope you can find some where you live. Thanks for stopping in, and Happy New Year to you and yours!

  14. Comment by Liz:

    Whoa, what a fabulous trifle! And that liqueur sounds just as exquisite! Happy New Year, my friend!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks! This is a fab little treat, and the liqueur is out of this world. It’s great to sip after dinner or for use in pastries, and the fennel is really nice. I hope 2015 is treating you well, amica, and thanks for stopping by.

  15. Comment by Emilie@TheCleverCarrot:

    What a beautiful way to use panettone! I’m just loving the soft light in these pictures, Adri. And that Biscotti Famosi! As I read your description, I kept nodding my head with approval. It contains all the flavors and smells that I enjoy in a gorgeous amber bottle. I’m going to have to try this… thanks for the introduction 🙂 xx

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Emilie,

      I am always looking for ways to use panettone, and this little snack is tasty indeed. I hope you can find the Biscotti Famosi. I bet you will love it. Happy new year!

  16. Comment by Cathy at Wives with Knives:

    You really got my attention with this beautiful little dessert, Adri. What a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. I’m always looking for new ways to use the panettone left over from Christmas. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Happy 2015.

  17. Comment by Amy @ Fearless Homemaker:

    I think I’ve probably mentioned to you before that I LOVE panettone, so this looks and sounds just so wonderful to me! I’m now so sad that our Christmas panettone is gone – I might have to order another online, just so I can make this – it sounds SO good! And I bet it’ll be just as delicious in January as it would’ve been in December. =)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Amy,

      Well, you could always grab some Pandoro at Easter time, and that would also be wonderful. This is just such a tasty little snack – I know you will get to it at some point. Happy New Year to you!

  18. Comment by 2 Sisters Recipes:

    OMG … ADri what a fabulous recipe!! Can’t wait to try it! We eat panetone every year in our family and love what you did in this recipe. We hope you had a blessed Christmas and we wish you the very best in 2015! Thank you for your wonderful friendship this past year! Ciao and Buon ANNO!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hello to you both,

      I am glad this one caught your collective eye. It is so easy, almost more of a snack than a dessert, and the Biscotti Famosi is absolutely delicious. I hope you enjoy it! Un abbraccio forte!

  19. Comment by Lizzy (Good Things):

    Adri, darling, why am I not seeing your posts!!!??? Oh my, oh my, I love this one so! I fell ill just before xmas, and almost didn’t cook, but this would have been beautiful on my menu. Love your work!

  20. Comment by John@Kitchen Riffs:

    Biscotti Famosi is new to me — I’ll have to look for it. So I can make this great recipe! And have a sip — or three! — of it. Really nice — thanks. And Happy New Year!

  21. Comment by Mette:

    Yesterday I tried to make a panettone pudding, but didn’t really like the result. Should have stayed with your suggestion instead. Happy New Year:)

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Mette,

      I am sorry to hear that your pudding was less than satisfactory. If you still have a bit more panettone, give this one a try. I hope you enjoy it, and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2015. I look forward to reading more of your travel commentary and the accomppanying recipes. For an “Armchair Traveler” like myself your column is a most welcome respite from every day life at home. Un bacione a te!

  22. Comment by nancy at good food matters:

    Simply brilliant. I have made bread pudding and french toast with the leftovers, but this Italian version of a trifle is really a stunner. Thanks for the inspiration, and the introduction to this special liqueur. Wishing you happiness and good health in 2015. Nancy

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Nancy,

      We enjoy this one as a sort of quick little snack or as a set dessert. The preparation itself is quick, and the whole thing is super versatile. Use what ever “add-ins” you have on hand, and the same goes for the liqueur. Amaretto, Frangelico, Verdenoce – any of them work well. Even Gran Marnier. This is one you can make your own, for certain. Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to more “visits” in 2015! Un bacione a te!

  23. Comment by Frank @Memorie di Angelina:

    You know, I was going to post a recipe for leftover panettone, but *someone* threw it out… ! Glad you posted this, though, it looks absolutely divine. And thanks for introducing us to Biscotti Famosi—it sounds incredible. Will have to be on the look out for it.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Frank,

      “Threw it out”, huh? My, but those mischevious hands in the kitchen… We have been enjoying panettone in multiple permutations – French Toast, Bread Pudding – you name it, we are eating it. I hope you can find some of the Biscotti Famosi liqueur. It really is tasty. Interestingly enough, it is the brainchild of a Harvard-educated lawyer, an Italian-American fellow. All the best to you and yours for a prosperous and tasty 2015!

  24. Comment by zonzolando:

    Meraviglia! Mi ci tufferei letteralmente dentro 🙂 Approfitto per farti i migliori auguri per un 2015 strepitoso! Un abbraccio 🙂

  25. Comment by cheri:

    Hi Adri, the liquor sounds very interesting, I bet this is a wonderful dessert. Happy New Year to you!

  26. Comment by Bam's Kitchen:

    Adri, your dessert is just over the top! I can’t wait to try Faretti Biscotti either on your dessert or just in a glass over ice. It sounds lovely. Wishing you and your family a safe and blessed New Year. Take Care, BAM

  27. Comment by Hotly Spiced:

    It’s so true that after Christmas there’s always some panetone leftover. I’ve traditionally always used it to make a wonderful bread and butter pudding. I love the look of this dessert and now I must track down that liquor and give it a try. Happy New Year to you and all your family, Adri xx

    • Comment by Adri:


      I bet your bread and butter pudding is delightful. Panettone certainly is one of Italy’s many gifts to the world. I hope you can find some of the Biscotti Famosi. It really is something special. All the best to you for a terrific 2015!

  28. Comment by Rosetta Costantino:

    I am curious now about this liqueur. I have never heard of it so I will go to BevMo! and hopefully they will have it. We have one more panettone at our house (we have consumed our Colavolpe panettoni (figs and chocolate from Calabria) and made french toast and bread pudding with the leftovers)so we are making this dessert on Saturday before Adrian gets back to Caltech. We are making fresh ricotta tomorrow and we have some Sicilian pistachios and with homemade candied orange peel it will be an amazing Sicilian dessert. Thanks for sharing it. Happy New Year!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Rosetta,

      I just love the Biscotti Famosi. The fennel taste is quite a surprise. The liqueur is the brainchild of a Harvard educated lawyer, an Italian-American! Go figure. If you can’t find it Amaretto or Frangelico are great here, and since you’ve got those spiffy Sicilian pistachios, some Dumante Verdenoce might also be nice. I bet it was great having Adrian at home, but I bet your time together just flew by! Buon anno a tutti!

  29. Comment by Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine:

    Wow, if only I had some panettone, this looks wonderful!!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Chris,

      Well the good thing about panettone is that Christmas comes every year, and with it, the panettone! Best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

  30. Comment by Maureen | Orgasmic Chef:

    I’ve got panettone lying around (who doesn’t at this time of year) and this dessert is going to be MINE! 🙂

    Happy New Near, Adri!

  31. Comment by Julia della Croce:

    Just left a message on your FB page but finally figured this out (I’m not terribly good at digital technology). There’s something very Sicilian about this zuppa inglese, Adri. I’ll save my panettone scraps for it (if there are any), but this is worth sacrificing a panettone for!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Julia,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I had not thought of it, but you are so right about this being sort of Sicilian in character. This mini-treat is perfect for those leftover pieces of panettone or even Pandoro. It’s fast and, as you know, as versatile as can be. If you’re low on ricotta, a bit of mascarpone mixed in is nice, and it lends a real silkiness to the crema. And the liquor, well, there is simply no end to the selections. Best wishes for a peaceful 2015!

      P.S. I am no technology whiz either. Just ask Bart!

  32. Comment by Laney (Ortensia Blu):

    Leave it up to you to find the interesting liquor! Will for sure BOTL for Biscotti Famosi – and love this recipe! Of course to make it one needs LEFTOVER Pannetone which has never ever happened in my house…Buon Anno Adri!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Laney,

      You know me and liquor. I love to experiment, and there are many wonderful ones out there… just waiting for me. This one is delectable, and I hope you try it. Thanks for stopping in, and buon anno a te! Un abbraccio forte!

  33. Comment by Maria | Pink Patisserie:

    What a gorgeous, gorgeous recipe Adri! Those panettone rounds in the photo above look like perfect little gifts, and that liqueur! I’ve got to get my hands on some of that! Wishing you a wonderful 2015!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Maria,

      I am glad you like this one. It is a nice switch from plain panettone! And the liqueur really is special. I hope you can find some near you. Happy New year to you and yours. Cheers!

  34. Comment by Susan:

    I would love to get my hands on a bottle of that liqueur! It sounds wonderful and what a terrific way to use it in this beautiful dessert.

  35. Comment by Tania @My Kitchen Stories:

    Hi Adri I have never heard of biscotti liquer either. I will have to ask my boss. I work at a place where we import Italian food and wine. I love panetone. This looks like a nice way to use it because it isn’t cooking it just adding other lovely flavours to it. I just love to eat it like it is. it is such amazingly luxurious fruit bread. Every one always thinks of it as a cooking ingredient.I have given up giving it as a gift because people say “oh no how am I going to cook it?.” > i have a chcolate one sitting in the kitchen waiting to be devoured. Hope you have a lovely new year

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Tania,

      How wonderful to work around all the wonderful imported foods. With each new shipment you must make lots of new discoveries. I hope you find this liqueur. The fennel taste is so very unique. I am glad you like this way of using panettone. I hope you try it. Best wishes for a wonderful 2015!

  36. Comment by Marie:

    Biscotti Famosi just might be my new best friend! I have never heard of this and I’m so happy you introduced us and I can’t wait to taste it. Your Italian style trifle with ricotta crema and panettone, where have you been all my life? I promised myself I would be good starting Monday so I’m going to pin this beauty and save it for Easter, when I can resume eating again!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marie,

      This one is right up there with Dumante. The fennel taste is so different, and there is even a hint of pepper the more of it you drink. Ha! I have to work on the better eating habits also. I have been consuming sweets like there is no tomorrow. I hope your Christmas was wonderful, and best wishes for a terrific 2015!

  37. Comment by Hannah:

    What a pleasure it must be to have leftover panettone to make this tempting trifle! Personally, I’ve never seen such a thing around here. 😉

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Hannah,

      That leftover panettone comes in handy for all sorts of things – and so does the liqueur! I hope your holidays have been wonderful, and best wishes for a terrific 2015!

  38. Comment by Pam Green:

    This is lovely! I have never heard of biscotti liquor! You always introduce me to new things and I love it. Thanks, Adri!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Pam,

      It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the liqueur. It is pretty easy to find, so I bet you will be able to find some near you. Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you are enjoying the holidays.

  39. Comment by ATasteOfMadness:

    This looks amazing!! I would have loved this for Christmas!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Greetings to you,

      Well, what can I say – better late than never. You can try it next year. I am glad this one caught your eye, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes for a terrific 2015!

  40. Comment by marcie:

    This Italian-style trifle sounds divine with the panettone and ricotta! I’m pinning this to try! Have a wonderful new year, Adri! 🙂

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Marcie,

      I am glad you like this one. It’s a thrifty treat with things the Italian cook has around after the holidays – nits, chocolate, candied orange peel, and of course, panettone! I hope you have a terrific new year, and thanks for stopping in.

  41. Comment by My Inner Chick:

    Lovely photos.
    Yummy Dessert!!
    Happy 2015!!

  42. Comment by Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen:

    Oooh! Fabulous recipe, Adri! Cannot wait to try. We love Biscotti Famosi at our house…as well as Amaretto, Frangelico, ricott (as we like to say) and panettone! I even bake panettone for New Years…sometimes as muffins with leftover dried fruit. And, Biscotti Famosi was the liqueur of choice for my Red Velvet Cake Martini for that special cake-like flavor. Thank you for sharing, my friend. Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season and many blessings in the New Year!

    • Comment by Adri:

      Ciao Stacy,

      Isn’t that Biscotti Famosi something! I love that you enjoy it too. Have a terrific New Year celebration, and let’s look forward to more terrific food in 2015! Un abbraccio forte!

  43. Comment by Ciao Chow Linda:

    Adri – what a great way to use up leftover panettone. I bought an extra pandoro to make something similar for my Italian ladies chit chat group, but never heard of this liquer. It sounds perfect and perfectly divine. Buon anno.

    • Comment by Adri:

      Hi Linda,

      This one is so quick to do, and is terrific with Pandoro. The liqueur really is unusual, and multi-layered in flavor. It is the brainchild of a Harvard-educated lawyer, and Italian-American who loves his cocktails! Buona domenica a te!

  44. Comment by marcela:

    And again… your recipe makes my mouth water…I love your idea!

  45. Comment by Chiara:

    cara Adri, he coppa squisita ! Buona domenica, un abbraccio !

  46. Comment by Barbara @ Barbara Bakes:

    I haven’t ever eaten panettone. This looks like a perfect way to serve it.

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